E-filers just shy of half of all tax filers

Electronic filing showed strong growth this year, reaching 60 million returns, or 15.4 percent more than last year, and home computer usage jumped more than 21 percent, the IRS said today in releasing statistics from the recently completed filing season through April 30.

“It seems safe to say that next year we will reach a milestone with half of all individual returns being processed electronically,” said IRS Commissioner Mark Everson.

Taxpayers e-filed 59.7 million, or more than 49 percent, of 121.4 million returns. Last year, out of 120.6 million returns, taxpayers e-filed 51.8 million, or 43 percent.

Self-prepared tax returns that were e-filed by computer surged 21.7 percent, topping 14 million. Tax professionals also increased e-filing by 15.8 percent, with 41.7 million filing electronically this year.

In its second year, 3.4 million taxpayers used the Free File service, a partnership between the IRS and a consortium of tax software companies, 22 percent more than last year. Each private company sets its own eligibility requirements for Free File, a program targeted to underserved and disadvantaged communities. The IRS hosts the Free File Web page, but the online tax preparation occurs on the companies’ Web sites. The companies file the returns using IRS’s secure e-file transmission system.

The www.IRS.gov site and “Where’s My Refund?” feature attracted 19.2 million inquiries to check on refunds. Slightly over half, or 52 percent, of all refunds were direct deposited this year compared with 48 percent last year. Nearly 47 million taxpayers chose to direct deposit their refunds this year, an 11 percent increase from last year.

IRS expects these numbers to grow through the Aug. 15 extension deadline and the Oct. 15 deadline for those seeking a second extension.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.